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Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 12:07 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle fought back valiantly but couldn’t quite hold out West Perth at Joondalup on Saturday despite the standout performance from returning recruit Brendon Ah Chee.

Both teams came into the game having won two of their opening three games of the season, but it was West Perth who started with the first five goals of the contest.

South Fremantle was gradually able to work their way into the contest and then took the lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons responded with the last two goals to claim the eventual 9.9 (63) to 8.7 (55) victory.

Brendon Ah Chee was tremendous in his second game for South Fremantle with 28 possessions and five marks with Mason Shaw also booting two goals from 18 disposals and eight marks.

Haiden Schloithe also finished with 28 disposals, five marks and five tackles for the Bulldogs, Tom Blechynden 28 touches and five inside 50s, Chad Pearson 25 possessions and 14 marks, and Toby McQuilkin 24 disposals and seven marks.

Steely Green gathered 21 possessions, Glenn Byron 17 and Hamish Free 15 to go with 46 hit outs in the ruck while Noah Strom was again superb down back holding Tyler Keitel to one goal and seven kicks.

West Perth got off to a perfect start going on a run of seven consecutive scoring shots on their home ground including goals to Tyler Keitel, Sam Rotham, Sasha Kernutt, Anton Hamp and then Kernutt again.

That saw the Falcons all of a sudden lead by 31 points before South Fremantle did get a goal back just before quarter-time thanks to Brandon Donaldson.

South Fremantle started the second quarter much better, though, with goals to Brendon Ah Chee and Mason Shaw to be back within 13 points, but West Perth responded with the next two from Mitch Dobson and Keegan Knott.

The Bulldogs did kick the last goal of the half, though, thanks to Jarrod Salmeri but the Falcons were still on top by 22 points at the major break.

South Fremantle was back within 15 points with a Tom Blechynden goal midway through the third quarter. Ah Chee then kicked a second with the Bulldogs holding West Perth scoreless in the quarter to be only seven points down by three quarter-time.

South Fremantle then hit the front to start the last quarter with Shaw kicking his second of the day and Caleb Datson his first.

Just as the Bulldogs had all the momentum, West Perth took back over and capitalised on a couple of South Fremantle mistakes to kick the last two goals of the game to Dobson and Rotham to secure the 9.9 (63) to 8.7 (55) victory.

Earlier in the day, South Fremantle's reserves had a strong win over West Perth, 12.5 (77) to 9.8 (62).

Lachlan Blakiston kicked four goals for the Bulldogs and Jack Blechynden three with George Wessels gathering 24 possessions, Tyson Headland 19, Manfred Kelly 16 and Jaxon Bellchambers 15.

The day at Joondalup began with the colts contest that saw West Perth prevail 10.12 (72) to 7.9 (51) against South Fremantle.

Max Foreman kicked three goals for South Fremantle and Harry Elphick two while Seth Connor gathered 28 possessions, Christian Wilson 25, Jordan Rodriguez 22 and Roan O'Hehir 20.


SOUTH FREMANTLE        1.1    4.1    6.4    8.7 (55)
WEST PERTH            5.2    7.5    7.5    9.9 (63)

SOUTH FREMANTLE: Goals – Ah Chee, Shaw 2; Blechynden, Donaldson, Datson, Salmeri.
Best – Ah Chee, Schloithe, N Strom, Blechynden, Pearson, Shaw, McQuilkin.
WEST PERTH: Goals – Dobson, Rotham, Kernutt 2; Knott, Hamp, Keitel.
Best – Meadows, Nelson, Guadagnin, Dobson, Manzone, Peirce, Black.